New Delhi, Aug 26 (PTI) Hollywood star Hilary Swank says her upcoming space drama 'Away', about the first human expedition to Mars, is representative of the multi-racial real world unlike the 'myopic' stories of the past decades that were typically told through the white male lens.
The two-time Oscar-winner plays American astronaut Emma Green leading an international crew to the red planet while struggling to cope with the guilt of being away from her teenage daughter and sick husband in the Netflix show, which starts streaming from September 4.
The actor, in a Zoom interview with PTI, said she loved the fact that the 10-part series features not only a female commander as in charge of the mission but also includes different races and genders.
'Not just space dramas but also shows in general... We have seen a plethora of shows over the last many decades being told through the white male lens, which is so myopic,' Swank said when asked about the predominant white male lens in American space dramas and movies.
'This is the real world. We have an LGBTQ storyline as well. This is finally representative of what's happening when you walk down the street. And to see it through that lens, to me that is extraordinary,' she said.
The 46-year-old actor said the US astronaut community has an equal mix of both the genders.
Swank said she hopes young women watching the show will feel inspired and believe that they can have it as a 'career and vocation if they choose'.
'We can do everything and to see us represented in different facets is one of the great things about the show,' she added.
The hardest part of shooting a space drama was to pretend to be in 'zero gravity' and wear the '30 pound' (approximately 14 kg) heavy space suit and make believe that it weighs nothing, Swank said.
The actors also attended a 'boot camp' to learn how to move gracefully while being attached to wires, she added.
'Away', she said, encapsulates what it would be like 'when you are going on a mission to Mars'.
Produced by Jason Katims of 'Parenthood' fame, besides Swank's Green, the drama also delves into the back stories of other crew members -- Russian astronaut Misha, Chinese astronaut and scientist Yu, and Kwesi, a British-Ghanaian botanist.
India and its governmental space agency Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) are represented on the show through the character of Ray Panthanki's Ram Arya, an Indian Air Force fighter pilot.
Swank has a huge fan-following in India thanks to her Oscar-winning performance in biographical drama 'Boys Don't Cry' and sports drama 'Million Dollar Baby' besides her romantic turns in 'P.S. I Love You' and 'New Year's Eve'.
The actor said she travelled to India in 2006 and has fond memories of driving through the country for five weeks.
'I drove all the way north and I ended up in Dharamshala. I was working there with children and orphanages and schools. I just went by myself. I have to say this that Indian people are so kind and gracious and just such special souls. 'They have a special energy about them. I remember the country being super colourful which I just love. Indian food is my favourite and I wish I could get back there more often,' she recalled.
Swank is one of the most formidable actors of her generation with an enviable filmography cutting across genres and mediums, which she said has been possible only through perseverance.
The actor said being in the business of storytelling has helped her evolve not just as an actor but also as a human being.
'Looking back at the 29 year (long) career that I had and I feel like I still have so much ahead of me... So many things to accomplish and challenge myself with. I am so grateful for the opportunities I got not only as an artiste but also how it made me grow as a human being.' To be able to step into the shoes of all the characters and see the world through their eyes 'even only for a moment' has enriched her life, she said.
'I would say to any actor or anyone who wants to be a storyteller, to just never give up and to always persevere. It is not easy and there are a lot of roadblocks and the business aspect is very hard but it is worth it in the end. Just don't give up,' Swank added.
'Away' features 'The Good Wife' star Josh Charles as Swank's husband, while Talitha Bateman plays her teenage daughter. Ato Essandoh, Mark Ivanir, Vivian Wu and Monique Curnen also feature prominently in the series.
It is created by Andrew Hinderaker and executive produced by showrunner Jessica Goldberg, Katims, Matt Reeves, Hinderaker, Edward Zwick, Swank, Adam Kassan, and Jeni Mulein. PTI BK RDS RDS